The sporting week ahead (30/06/13)

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You don't normally need to do a rain dance when the British Grand Prix comes round, as a bit of engine-revving always seems to be the cue for a good old British downpour. However, yesterday rays of sunshine were starting to pop up all over the BBC weather forecast, so it could be time to pack away the gumboots and break out the flip-flops. And the sun might even bring out a British winner, with Lewis Hamilton taking pole and keen to repeat his triumph of 2008. Further afield, Brazil will be looking to win the Confederations Cup on home soil by beating Spain in tonight's final, though a victory would be unlikely to silence the protesters.


No one is countenancing defeat for Andy Murray ahead of next Sunday's Wimbledon final, so today's joust with Mikhail Youzhny is being billed as a little workout en route to better things. But, as we all know, that way danger lurks, so expect plenty more hedging from the Scot about his prospects. In cricket, Essex play England, so the Ashes must be close.


Little old Bala Town from the Welsh Premier League play Lavadia Tallinn in the Europa League first qualifying round, a game for those who just can't give football a rest.


A month ago Nick Compton was a seeming cert for the Ashes, but now he will need to produce something special in Worcestershire's game against the Australians to secure his place at the top of the England order. Not the least surprising aspect of all this is that Compton doesn't actually play for the county, but no one bothers too much about such technicalities these days. In rowing, it's the start of the Henley Regatta for those with more Pimm's than sense.


These days it is apparently impossible to start a season without a fixture launch, so rugby union takes another leaf out of football's bulging book by bigging up the Aviva Premiership in London. In golf, the French Open boasts a strong field of those with half an eye on the Open at Muirfield next month.


And so to the Nürburgring and first practice in the German Grand Prix.


After the Second Test slugfest in the rugby, the Australians will start favourites for the decisive Third Test in Sydney, although a Lions victory today followed by a Murray triumph in SW19 tomorrow would make this the sporting weekend of the year. Talking of Wimbledon, today's women's singles final will almost certainly be Serena Williams against, er, someone else.